Here’s something I’ve learned along the way:
If your gut instinct says a client will be trouble, there’s a good chance they will be over a long enough horizon.
Trouble might mean a number of different things. It might mean being overly demanding, or having unrealistic expectations, or erratic behaviour, or unethical tendencies, or worst of all—being litigious.
It helps to have good, clear agreements in place. Legal reasons or not, a clear scope of work will set expectations and avoid disagreements down the line.
If you can incorporate your business, that helps give you some peace of mind. Insurance is an absolute must if you’re giving advice.
But the real solution is to get out of the relationship (or avoid it) before it becomes an issue.
Never underestimate your gut instinct. It knows more than you think.
Especially about bad clients.